Fernando Alonso Aston Martin debut delayed after floor broken during pit-stop practice

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, in Bahrain. February 2023.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso pictured in Bahrain. February 2023.

Fernando Alonso has been forced to wait a little longer for his Aston Martin debut after his car was broken during pitstop practice.

The Spaniard had been set to take control of the AMR23 for the afternoon session after Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich stepped in to replace the injured Lance Stroll during the morning’s running.

But his start was delayed somewhat after he was forced to return to the pits following only two laps of the Bahrain circuit.
Aston Martin confirmed to PlanetF1.com that the car had suffered “minor floor damage” and was due to be back on the track soon.

F1 journalist Albert Fabrega reported that the floor was damaged during the team’s pitstop practice.

It has so far not been smooth sailing for the Silverstone based team with Drugovich also seeing his run time reduced after an electrical issue forced him to pull over to the side of the track and bring out the first red flag of 2023.

Alonso goes into the year having enjoyed his first normal off-season since his return to the sport having been affected in both 2021 and 2022 by a cycling accident.

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The Spaniard sustained an upper jaw fracture in a cycling collision with a car in Switzerland and injury has also seen his team-mate Stroll forced to sit out the pre-season test.

Speaking to media, including PlanetF1.com, Alonso said: “About the physical aspect, yes, I’m fitter than ever. But I think it’s just the way you know yourself, the way you train.

“The last two years, the winters – they have been difficult. In 2021 I had a bicycle accident, I could not move for three weeks and last winter also had to remove the plates and things from the face.

“So this was really the first winter that I could do a normal preparation. So I’m happy.”

Aston Martin are perhaps the team on the grid with the loftiest ambitions, aiming to finish much higher than their P7 of 2022.

They have been backed to do so with one pundit describing former Red Bull head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows as Aston Martin’s “secret weapon.”